After iron man Drago, a highly intimidating 6-foot-5, 261-pound Soviet athlete, kills Apollo Creed in an exhibition match, Rocky comes to the heart of Russia for 15 pile-driving boxing rounds of revenge.
Rocky Balboa is enjoying life. He has a lovely wife, Adrian, had a successful fight with Apollo Creed and is able to enjoy the money he earned from the fight and a new endorsement deal. Unfortunately, Rocky becomes embarrassed when failing to complete an advert and ends up working in a meat packing company. He believes that he will no longer have a career as a boxer. Apollo wants to rematch with Rocky to prove all his critics wrong that he can beat Rocky. Can Rocky once again have a successful fight? Written by
Immediately after Rocky's close contest with Apollo Creed, he is drawn into fame only to find it is a temporary thing. As the money fades he finds personal crisis is never far away and is tempted into a big money rematch against Creed. Meanwhile Creed, who should fight other fighters, is plagued by suggestions that the first fight was staged to go the distance. Things build to the rematch.
Stallone proves that he has got a money making brain in his head by basically remaking Rocky. The story covers similar themes it's a soap opera with a fight at the end. Here the soapy mush is mostly about his loss of money and decline back into the gutter, while we have children and comas thrown in for good measure. This is all well and good, and Stallone doesn't let it get too mushy. The script has some good scenes and mixes in comedy my favourtie line being where Rocky is advised to invest his money in condominiums, to which Rocky replies `condominiums? But I don't use them.'
This comedy helps endear Rocky to us despite being a bit `punchy'. The fight however that's where the money is. As in the first Rocky movie, the fight is a huge thing, full of emotion and welling music. The fighting is, of course, nonsense even sillier than the first film, but with the raw emotion and use of music you can't help but get involved even if you don't want to! At times it goes a bit far and may look a bit like ego-massaging by Stallone, eg the scene where he is out on his training run and is followed by hundreds of supportive children!
Stallone is good in all his roles, the playing of Rocky as a working class bum made good is bang on. Shire doesn't have much to do but she's good beside Stallone. Young is good and Meredith easily repeats his tour-de-force as the grizzled trainer. Carl Weathers is good as Apollo Creed and this is one of his best roles.
Overall this isn't a classic but by repeating the basic formula of the first movie and taking Rocky back to the gutter, this remains an entertaining soap that is driven by mushy, if formulaic, emotion.
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